Sometimes employers or their insurance companies offer to pay an injured worker a settlement for their Workers’ Compensation claim. There are several considerations to be made if such an offer is proposed to you. First and foremost, settlements are voluntary, and you do not have to agree to any settlement offer made by your employer or their insurer. That said, you should carefully evaluate a settlement offer and compare it to the benefits you are eligible for to determine your best option.
Types of Settlements
There are two types of settlements that insurers typically offer. One is called a structured settlement in which you will be paid small amounts over a certain period of time. The other option is a one-time, lump-sum payment where you receive all the money offered at once. In any settlement accepting the amount proposed to you also means giving up certain rights, so it is important to know what benefits you are giving up.
Factors to Consider When Offered a Settlement
Settling a Workers’ Compensation claim means you will no longer be eligible for weekly benefits stemming from that injury. Therefore, it is crucial to accurately calculate the amount of benefits you might be entitled to in the future to determine what you are giving up if you settle your claim. If you are still receiving medical care for your injury, it is possible that your employer is offering the settlement with the condition that you accept responsibility for any future medical costs.
If your injury left you with a permanent partial disability, you may be entitled to a permanent partial disability award. A settlement offer from the insurance company will typically be in the range of the amount of your award, but with conditions attached, such as giving up the right to pursue a claim for permanent total disability. A qualified Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you calculate the true value of the settlement offer.
Another important factor to consider is the likelihood of receiving your benefits versus the settlement amount being offered to you. Has your injury been re-evaluated by a doctor who is recommending that you return to your job? You may have to defend your right to continue your recovery at a hearing. If there is a good chance that your benefits will be terminated, the settlement could be an option for you.
Workers should know that any settlement must be approved by the state Workers’ Compensation agency. A hearing will be held where a judge or hearing officer will review the terms of the settlement with you. Even if you and the insurer agree to the terms, if the judge or hearing officer believes that the settlement is not in your best interest, they will reject it.
Vineland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Fight for Workers’ Rights
If your employer’s insurer is pushing you to settle your Workers’ Compensation case, consult with a Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyer at DiTomaso Law. We will make sure your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call 856-414-0010 today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.